RECORDINGS

LABEL: MARTINGALE
CATALOG NUMBER: 1085
UPC NUMBER: 853840001085
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 136:34
YEAR RECORDED: 2008
CD RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 11, 2008
CONDUCTOR: JOHN RUTTER
ORCHESTRA: THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: CAMBRIDGE SINGERS
SOPRANO: JOANNE LUNN
MEZZO-SOPRANO: MELANIE MARSHALL
TENOR: JAMES GILCHRIST
BARITONE-BASS: CHRISTOPHER PERVES


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

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DISC ONE

1. Sinfonia (Overture)     3:11
2. Comfort Ye, My People    3:00
3. Every Valley Shall Be Exalted    3:13
4. And the Glory of the Lord    2:31
5. Thus Saith the Lord    1:26
6. But Who May Abide the Day of His Coming?    4:27
7. And He Shall Purify    2:37
8. Behold, a Virgin Shall Conceive    0:23
9. O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion    5:01
10. For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover the Earth    2:16
11. The People That Walked in Darkness    2:55
12. For Unto Us a Child Is Born    4:00
13. Pifa (Pastoral Symphony)    2:29
14. There Were Shepherds Abiding in the Field/And Lo, the Angel of the Lord Came Upon Them/And the Angel Said unto Them/And Suddenly There Was with the Angel    1:19
15. Glory to God    1:58
16. Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion    4:14
17. Then Shall the Eyes of the Blind Be Opened    0:22
18. He Shall Feed His Flock/Come Unto Him    5:00
19. His Yoke Is Easy    2:27
20. Behold the Lamb of God    2:48
21. He Was Despised    9:34
DISC TWO

1. Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs     2:08
2. And with His Stripes We Are Healed    1:57
3. All We Like Sheep Are Gone Astray    3:47
4. All They That See Him Laugh Him to Scorn    0:45
5. He Trusted in God    2:27
6. Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart    1:54
7. Behold,and See If There Be Any Sorrow    1:23
8. He Was Cut off Out of the Land of the Living    0:22
9. But Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul in Hell    2:18
10. Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates    3:14
11. Unto Which of the Angels    0:20
12. Let All the Angels of God Worship Him    1:31
13. Thou Art Gone Up on High    2:51
14. The Lord Gave the Word    1:08
15. How Beautiful Are the Feet    2:03
16. Their Sound Is Gone Out    1:22
17. Why Do the Nations So Furiously Rage Together?    2:51
18. Let Us Break Their Bonds Asunder    1:54
19. He That Dwelleth in Heaven    0:10
20. Thou Shalt Break Them    1:52
21. Hallelujah!    3:57
22. I Know That My Redeemer Liveth    5:33
23. Since by Man Came Death    2:14
24. Behold, I Tell You a Mystery    0:33
25. The Trumpet Shall Sound    8:34
26. Then Shall Be Brought to Pass    0:15
27. O Death, Where Is Thy Sting?/But Thanks Be to God    3:19
28. If God Be for Us    4:53
29. Worthy Is the Lamb/Amen    7:26

SITE RATING:  8/10
SITE REVIEW:  Being a tremendous fan of John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers, I was thrilled when I discovered that they were going to record their first-ever Messiah.  My first thought was: why hadn't they recorded it before?  But upon reflection, the Cambridge Singers are not known as Baroque stylists, although their forces and training would lead a person to believe it would be one of their fortes.  Regardless, this is a lovely, highly polished and mannered Messiah which only suffers from its extreme politeness and restraint.  Fault cannot be laid at either the ensembles or soloists, who perform with such glistening beauty as befits their reputations.  Rather, John Rutter seems to be the general who is holding back his forces - this is a Messiah that has little fire or passion - and not a drop of drama to speak of, but instead presents Messiah as a musical masterpiece, somewhat white-washed and pristine.  Not that it's a bad thing - this is a recording to be proud of, often serene and with a 'dancing' lilt to it which should be the envy of choirs everywhere; and this is a 'young' Messiah - with most of the singers sounding as if they are in the first bloom of adulthood, with all the power and freshness of youth, yet still possessing an enviable control.  Strangely, this recording was not released on Rutter's own Collegium label, which may account for the lack of immediacy - this was a commissioned work for Martingale Records, and might have lost some of the inspiration accorded to a desire by John Rutter to record this masterwork on his own terms.   ~ BDW


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
All Rights Reserved.